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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 20:10 GMT
Jail term for bridge leap mother
Angela Schumann
Schumann suffered a fractured spine in the fall
A woman who plunged 100ft (30m) from the Humber Bridge with her daughter has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting attempted murder.

Angela Schumann, 28, of Leeds, and her daughter Lorraine Tumalan-Schumann, who was nearly two years old at the time, survived the fall in June last year.

They were rescued after police were alerted to an empty pushchair and a child's shoe on the bridge.

The judge at Hull Crown Court said the two were lucky to survive the fall.

'Relatively unscathed'

Judge Michael Mettyear added: "This is one of the most difficult cases I have ever had to deal with.

"It is difficult because on the one hand you are an intelligent woman, you have no previous convictions and you pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity.

"On the other hand your conduct was very likely to kill your child.

"Of the 85 or so people who are known to have jumped off the Humber Bridge I was told that 80 died."

He said there was evidence to show that the act was premeditated, including writing on Schumann's stomach seen when she was dragged from the water which read: "Cause of death: Julio".

Schumann's marriage to Julio Tumalan Nava had broken up and he had custody of the child, the court heard.

Humber Bridge
Only five people have survived falls from the Humber Bridge

An earlier court hearing heard that CCTV footage showed a person going off the bridge and splashing into the water.

Minutes later, police were alerted after an empty pushchair, a child's pink shoe, and a white teddy bear were found on the walkway of the bridge.

Schumann suffered a fractured spine in the fall and spent almost two months in hospital. Her daughter was treated for hypothermia.

State of mind

The court heard that when police searched Schumann's home the next day, they found her will and 28 separate envelopes addressed to her daughter containing single photos of herself.

Nick Adlington, for the prosecution, said this highlighted her state of mind but he added that Mr Nava was in no way to blame.

Speaking afterwards, Nigel Cowgill, Humberside Chief Crown Prosecutor, said they had considered very carefully whether it was in the public interest to prosecute Miss Schumann.

"However, we made the decision to prosecute, because we felt it was important to fully record the actions of the defendant, which were calculated to take the life of a young child," he said.

Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon said: "It is difficult to see what locking up this depressed, distressed mother will do to cut crime, respond to mental health needs or deter others from acting in desperation.

"Surely there is something better we can do to keep children safe and comfort tormented parents when relationships fall apart?"




SEE ALSO
Plunge mother admits murder bid
03 Nov 06 |  Humber

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